Addis, oh Addis. How I have come to love and loathe you. These two emotions, equally as strong, fuel my desire to flee and to linger.

Addis, today I walked around your contours, I jumped over the shallow pools of mud that envelop each street. I was chased around by children pulling at my bag, begging me for anything and everything. Men leered after me for many steps until their voices faded off in the distant.

But then I passed a small coffee house where the seductive scent of coffee came out to meet me. I was welcomed to come and have coffee, and to lighten my load with strangers. I continued walking, only to come across a small child who was draped over her mother’s shoulder. Her sole enjoyment and purpose was to wave at me, and smile. So much so that when I hurried my steps and continued walking, she turned around and offered one last wave.

And as I climb the steps back to my home, I am offered in for more coffee and despite my reluctance, I am pulled in and given two handfuls of popcorn and yet still offered more. Yes, despite having both hands full.

So you see Addis? I can never forget  and leave you, yet I can never imagine staying.

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